Friday, August 8, 2014

Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day - Garden Zucchini Burgers

Yes, you read that right.  And yes, it's a real thing.  August 8th is Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day.  Seriously.  At least, here in America.  Google it.  I can't make this stuff up.

So...what are you going to do when you find those green garden zuccs on your porch?  

Well, you could whip up some lemon zucchini muffins, or maybe gingered zucchini carrot bread...

Or, you could make yourself these awesomely delicious Garden Zucchini Burgers.  



They are juicy, tender, healthy, and full of delicious flavor, thanks to some roasted garlic and fresh rosemary.

First, you need to make some roasted garlic.  If you just happen to have some on hand, fantastic!  Use that!  If, however you are normal, and don't, here's how you do it: Heat your oven to 375.  Cut off the top of a whole head of garlic, exposing the open bulbs.  Wrap the garlic in foil, but leave the top open.  Drizzle the garlic with a little olive oil,  Seal it.  Put it in the oven and bake for about an hour.


When it's ready, the garlic will be soft and caramelized.  You can do my favorite thing ever and just spread it on toasted baguette...oh oh, should have made two.  Okay, so do that another time.  You need a whole head for this recipe!


Take a pound of lean ground beef.  You could also use ground turkey or chicken, just adjust the cooking time as needed.

Grate up 1-2 small to medium zucchini.  You want about a cup of grated zucchini total.


Here's my other "secret" ingredient: nasturtiums.  These edible flowers are peppery, like a radish, but with a slightly sweet edge.  They are great in the garden because not only are they pretty, they distract pests from your precious vegetables.  A lot of farmers grow them for that very reason, and you may be able to find them in good farmer's markets, or some groceries.  If you can't, or if you don't feel so flowery, freshly ground black pepper is a completely acceptable substitute here.  I just like the color pop that the nasturtiums add, so I took about a dozen blossoms and chopped them up.


Chop up a sprig or two worth of fresh rosemary, and grab about a teaspoon of kosher salt.


Toss all of that in a bowl, squeeze your roasted garlic cloves into the bowl, and then mix well.  I'm going to go with what I'm pretty sure is Italian law and tell you that this should be done by hand.  All good meat mixing is.


Form it into 5-6 firm patties.  If you are lucky enough to have a burger press, it can be very helpful here.  But not essential.


Heat your grill, or a grill pan.  Grill the patties on medium heat for 5-7 minutes each side, until they are cooked through to your liking.  Gentle with these, they can be a little delicate, especially if you haven't packed them tightly.


Serve on a good sturdy bun, like a whole grain wheat bun.  Top with whatever you'd like, but keep in mind that the flavors in the burger stand on their own.  A little lettuce, maybe tomato, some mustard or a great aioli, and you should be set to grind. 


Oh, and that on the side?  Why pan-fried zucchini blossoms, of course.


So, if you're the zucchini sneaker, be sure to save yourself a zucc or two for this, and if you're the sneakee, rejoice in your luck to have such generous neighbors, then invite them over for a barbecue and show them what they gave up.  Suckas.